©1995-2005 Archer & Valerie Productions.
DUCT TAPE: USE #1001
A man who got lost while photographing alligators in a Florida swamp didn't want to be eaten by the big reptiles while he caught some sleep. When rescuers found Gemini Wink, he had climbed a tree and bound himself to a branch with duct tape so he wouldn't fall out when he dozed.
DO NOT SQUEEZE
An animal control officer says an Arlington, Virginia shelter received an unusual package. Using a fake return address, someone shipped two 10-foot pythons by parcel post. Sylvia Smith says that luckily, the snakes arrived alive.
ANIMALS ON THE TOWN
Residents of Yucca Valley, California were terrified when an elephant strode down a local street. The pachyderm had broken away from the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus, and was recaptured quickly. Hours later, some horses broke away from the circus and were rounded up in the same section of town.
BAD GIRLS, BAD GIRLS, WHATCHA GONNA DO?
Two elderly police volunteers in Beloit, Wisconsin were accidentally given a real patrol car when they were dispatched to an accident scene. The duo could be heard on the police radio trying to figure out where they were going, as they sped through town with lights flashing and sirens blaring. The car ran a red light and struck another vehicle. No one was injured, but the two 76-year-old women had to be extricated from the car.
MAN SQUEALS ON HIMSELF
The noise coming from a Memphis Honey-Baked Ham store sounded like the squeal of a pig. But it turned out to be a would-be burglar who was stuck in an air vent on the roof of the store. The suspect was stuck for eight hours before someone heard his squeals for help.
A man with a passion for cars made a public apology after someone spotted him breaking the speed limit on a Swedish highway. Apologizing for going 20 miles over the legal limit in his latest Ferrari was Carl Gustav, the King of Sweden.
LAWYER CAUGHT WITH NO BRIEFS
An attorney who was caught skinny-dipping in a neighbor's pool without permission was found hiding naked in some bushes when police responded to a silent alarm. Naples, Florida police say the perp ran off and jumped into the Gulf of Mexico, but was captured when the two officers jumped in after him. He was charged with indecent exposure, resisting arrest and - after consulting the cops on the appropriate charge - attempted burglary.
A deputy U.S. Marshal assigned to protect people in the Federal Witness Protection Program was charged with ripping them off. Hilton Coleman was accused of embezzling funds from the witness' subsistence accounts.
CRIME & KARMA
A heavy, 6-foot statue of Buddah was stolen from the entryway of a restaurant in Lincoln, Nebraska. Manager Edward Yang said it was a happy Buddah, and he was sorry it couldn't protect itself.
HELLO, I THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD
A 60-year-old Tokyo man came home from work and found his family planning his funeral. They'd been told the man died in a car crash after his own brother-in-law misidentified a body at the scene.
Two drunken sailors who broke into a Sharpless, England auto dealership and smashed up new cars were easy to find. The cars they drove smelled strongly of fish, leading police to a Danish fishing vessel docked at Sharpness. The two men received eight months in prison for causing 600-thousand-dollars damage to 31 cars.
A 73-year-old man, who was being released from the hospital in Bath, England, was given paperwork on his case for his general practicioner. His doctor was amused to read that the hospital had declared his patient pregnant.
It seemed too good to be true: 25 pounds of fudge for ten bucks. Police arrested a man for selling candy out of his Omaha apartment after recovering 100 pounds of fudge that had been stolen from a craft show in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
GIVING 'EM THE BIRD
Be afraid. Be very, very afraid. Of the flamingos. Residents of Rushville, Nebraska never know when they'll wake up to find a flock of plastic pink famingos on their front lawns. It's part of a charity drive for Rushville High School - five bucks donated to the senior prom fund will get them removed. For ten dollars, residents can buy flamingo insurance - guaranteeing they'll never wake up to a flamingo attack.
BLESS THIS BALL GAME
The FBI broke up a fake sports memorabilia ring with the help of Mark McGwire and other atheletes who confirmed that their autographs were fake. A federal attorney said some of the items seized were comical - like a baseball supposedly signed by Mother Teresa.
The Garden Gnome Liberation Front has resurfaced in Paris. 20 gnomes disappeared from an exhibition and a note was left demanding that gnomes no longer be ridiculed and be released into their local habitat. Two years prior, 11 gnomes were found dangling by their necks under a bridge with a note saying, When you read these words we will no longer be part of your selfish world, where we serve merely as pretty decoration.
Police in Lake Station, Indiana reported that three female students plotted to kill a fourth because they were jealous of her. The trio, who had planned to use a gun, noose or butcher knife, put their plan in writing and drew up a crude map of where the murder was to take place. The girls - and their intended victim - were all first-graders at an elementary school.
3-YEAR-OLD MAKES THE CALL
Johnstown, Pennsylvania preschool teacher Susan Jamieson said it's every teacher's crowning glory when a student applies a school lesson to save a life. Abby Jo Penek, one of her 3-year-old students, remembered a song she'd been taught about calling 911 - and phoned for help when her mother had an epileptic seizure.
DOT COM CON
Three West Bend, Wisconsin teenagers were operating a business called Globex - complete with an internet site and business cards. Their mission statement: To provide you with the things you need at a cost you deserve. Washington County authorities arrested the boys, however, alleging that Globex was selling shoplifted items.
Police officers in London's royal parks took to roller blades so they can keep up with the perps - especially the kids who were easily outpacing them in Hyde Park. Police said the roller blades have one drawback - using them can be lethal when it's raining.
General Mills gave 7-year-old Perley King of Tacoma a bicycle and a year's supply of his favorite breakfast cereal. The company learned that the boy had been stopped by police while driving his sister's car to the supermarket because he ran out of Cheerios. Perley told the officers he learned to drive by playing video games.
In Gisborne, New Zealand, car fenders were crumpled. Rear-view mirrors were snapped off. Auto glass was broken. Bumpers were bent. But this was no pile-up on the highway or act of vandalism. A two-point-two-ton elephant seal was using vehicles in a parking lot as scratching posts.
Police say a Munich, Germany woman was living with her husband lying dead in bed for four months. Police were sent to her house because the woman kept telling relatives he didn't want to see anyone.
RACISM BY SELF-MUTILATION
A Tucson, Arizona teacher who had claimed a Hispanic student shot her before class confessed that she had shot herself. Investigators found the gun in a false bottom in her purse. Police also claimed Kathy Morris had been sending threatening letters to herself.
A legal brief arrived by fax at a Columbus, Ohio-area prison, ordering that an inmate be released because his conviction was a mistake. When authorities called the judge whose name appeared on the brief, it was disclosed that the fax was a fake. The inmate in question was serving 15 years for strangling his girlfriend.
An Arizona woman received a seven-year sentence for ordering her daughter to take the wheel of her car. Michele McCoy knew she was too drunk to drive home after a night at a bar, so she instructed her 11-year-old to drive. The girl was injured when the car crashed into a house. McCoy was convicted for attempted child abuse.
A ROUND FOR THE TOWN?
The Arizona attorney general's office investigated a topless bar in Albuquerque after a customer received nearly 27-thousand dollars in charges on his credit card. The Albuquerque Journal calculated that the patron would have purchased 26 thousand table dances or at least 53 hundred drinks in his three visits to the club.
HEITKEMPER'S HOT TEMPER
A 23-year-old Laurel, Montana allegedly threatened deputies who responded to a call that he was beating his father. Then he tried to jump in front of a big rig on Interstate 90, before being subdued and jailed for the night. The next day, Todd Heitkemper was dragged from the courtroom after screaming obscenities at his father and brother. The police report says Heitkemper's tantrums began when his father would only let him have one piece of chicken instead of two.
Chaos broke out at the funeral of a 21-year-old murdered man in Pratt City, Alabama. The disagreement was over a mistake in George McHeard III's obituary. It may have been hard for the newpaper to get it right. McHeard had fathered at least 16 children by nine different women.
A 16-year-old was arrested for murder after the beating death of the banquet manager of the Adam's Mark Hotel in Daytona Beach. Police say Steven West refused to give the teenager a light for his cigarette.
I LIKE TO BE IN AMERICA...
Members of a dance troupe from Senagal who were nearing the end of their U.S. tour must have liked life the States. After a performance by Ballet d'Afrique in San Francisco, 17 of the 28 dancers walked off stage, mingled with the crowd and disappeared.
Mourners chased down and subdued a man who stole a broach from the corpse of a woman during a Cleveland funeral. Attendees had noted that the thief looked a bit out of place - he was wearing bright red sweatpants.
A CRIME TO CRAVE CHOCOLATE - PART 1
A Columbia, South Carolina department store had police arrest a man who apparently took a Godiva chocolate bunny into a dressing room and ate it. Police chief Gene Sealy said it was probably the most expensive chocolate bunny the suspect has ever eaten - he faced 895 dollars in fines.
A CRIME TO CRAVE CHOCOLATE - PART 2
A Tyler, Texas prosecutor defended a sentence given to a man convicted of stealing a king-size Snickers bar - 16 years in prison. Kenneth Payne was sentenced under a habitual offenders law, after turning down a plea bargan for an 8-year sentence. Payne's previous convictions included the theft of a bag of Oreos.
LET ME IN! PLEASE, LET ME IN!
A Tulsa County Jail inmate had to drag his lawyer into court to get back into prison. Michael Chambers said jail authorities had accidentally released him and wouldn't believe his claims that he hadn't served his sentence. Several prisoners had been mistakenly released since a private company took over operations of the jail.
ERRING EDUCATORS - PART 1
The Oregon Department of Education didn't score well on its own math tests - five of the questions they asked students were technically wrong. Three of the errors were on their fifth-grade test. Testing specialist Cathy Brown said the department had conducted four rounds of proofreading.
ERRING EDUCATORS - PART 2
Eight high school teachers in Woodland, California were suspended when they were accused of illegally copying a state achievement test so they could prepare students for the exam. The test determines the state's ranking of school districts. Woodland had not fared well in the previous round.
GET SOME COLD WATER!
A couple who had previously never met got drunk and obnoxious and joined the mile high club under a blanket in their seats aboard an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Manchester, England. They pleaded guilty to public drunkeness, but prosecutors dropped a charge of public indecency. The couple had to face their spouses - and the embarrassment of the publicity - when they went on trial in Manchester, England.
Students at a Buenos Aires high school were sent home after some complained of illnesses the day after their school was sprayed for scorpions. School authorities say they believe the students - who complained of headaches and nausea - had found a convenient excuse for a day off.
The FAA suspected that a Piper Cub pilot made an emergency landing near a populated Fresno, California subdivision so he and his passenger could relieve themselves. Residents who witnessed the landing and rushed towards the plane said they found John Gailey and Stef Booying standing by the plane urinating. Gailey told police his engine was running roughly, but by time FAA investigators arrived the next day, the plane had taken off.
PAIN IN THE NECK
A Yonkers, New York woman who saw a doctor after three days of neck pain was shocked to learn that she hadn't pulled a muscle - there was a bullet lodged in her neck. Police said she had no idea how the slug got there.
THIS LITTLE PIGGY
Sadie Emerson and her three-year-old son scoured the neighborhood when their pet potbellied pig, Tiny Boo, was missing. They were horrified to find Tiny Boo had become the main course of a barbecue at an outdoor party at a nearby mobile home. Deming, New Mexico authorities charged Robert Bertola with cruelty to animals.
AN INTERNAL AFFAIR
Paraguay's anti-corruption chief was arrested - on charges of corruption. The government said Daniel Fretes-Ventre, his wife and several relatives were charged with blackmailing people about whom Fretes-Ventre had uncovered evidence of wrongdoing.
BAD BANK DAY
A Fort Worth, Texas woman wished she'd never gone to the bank. First, the ATM took back her cash before she could grab it. Then the machine swallowed her receipt. Shortly after she drove off in a huff, she found herself face down on the sidewalk being handcuffed while guns were pointed at her head. While the woman had been fighting with the ATM, someone was holding up the bank. When she peeled out in frustration, a teller mistook her car for the getwaway vehicle. Detectives soon realized the mistake - but the real bandit got away.
YOU MAY HAVE ALREADY LOST
After numerous complaints about delivery problems, Postal Service authorities found 800 pounds of undelivered mail stored at the home of a contracted carrier in Oakhurst, California. One resident said she gave up on subscribing to magazines because they never came.
CAR 54, WHERE ARE YOU?
A police officer in Philadelphia was assigned to transport a rape victim from a hospital to a Special Victims Unit. When the cruiser never showed up, police launched a city-wide search with a helicopter. Meanwhile, officer Margo Grady had gotten lost and driven 70 miles into New Jersey. She used her lights and siren to pull over a New Jersey state trooper in Newark and get directions home.
PLEASHE GO EASHY ON MY SHWEET, SWHEET SHON.
18-year-old Paco Tirado of Fayetteville, North Carolina is probably regretting that his lawyer chose his mother as a character witness for his sentencing hearing on a murder charge. On her way to testify, Alice Tirado was arrested for drunkeness. Her blood alcohol level was three times the legal amount.
A 9-year-old Cape Cod boy was crushed to death by an airbag when he crashed his grandmother's car into an embankment. Police said 71-year-old Shirley Pagliarini let the boy drive the car on her 140-foot driveway. In Massachusetts, it's not illegal to allow a child to drive on private property.
HOW ABOUT NIKE AIR HEADS?
A criminologist says heating of the brain may lead to violent human aggression. Ehor Boyanowsky of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C. suggests that there would be less violence during hockey games if players' helmets were air conditioned.
Angry bees attacked 320 people who were walking to raise funds for a Punjab hospital. Some of those in the walk had thrown stones at bee hives. The walkers had to be treated at the hospital that benefitted from the walk.
OUT YOU GO!
Los Angeles police followed a car that was driving eratically when the driver suddenly opened his door and rolled out of the car. Police say the drunk driver was trying to throw out a beer can.
NUTZ ON THE LOOSE
Nutz the police dog ended up on the wrong side of the law when he escaped a boarding kennel while his partner was on vacation. The New Berlin, Wisconsin K9 strolled into a 24-hour supermarket and stole a hunk of prime rib from the meat bin. Workers corralled him a few hours later - after he'd finished his meal. His theft was captured on the store's video cameras.
LITERALLY TAKING THE BUS
A teenager in Berlin was caught driving a stolen bus after he went through a red light. He was on his way to traffic court to face charges of leaving the scene of an accident. A justice authority remarked that he should be given credit for making it to court on time. Then he sent the 18-year-old off to jail.
A man was arrested in Chalmette, Louisiana for allegedly helping himself to money from a church's donation box. Police said he used thin metal rods coated with a sticky substance. The perp told police he wasn't stealing the money, just removing it, because the church was run by Commies.
THE SCOOP FROM SANTA FE
A Santa Fe judge was sick of dog owners who wouldn't take responsibility for scooping up after their pets. Especially when many of them wouldn't show up in Doggie Court or pay their fines if they were cited. Municipal Court Judge Fran Gallegos instituted a tough new policy - anyone who didn't pay a fine or show up in court would be sentenced to picking up after other people's dogs.
OLD LAW RUFFLED FEATHERS
After complaints from Native Canadians, the Nova Scotia government officially asked Ottawa to confirm that a 1756 gubernatorial proclamation could be ignored. The provincial law offered a bounty for Indian scalps.
The LAPD located a stolen Russian dagger after news broadcasts of its theft made it impossible to fence. Acting on an anomymous tip, they recovered the jewel-handled artifact, which had been stolen from an exhibit on the Queen Mary in Long Beach. It was left on Hollywood Boulevard in a manilla envelope marked Handle with care.
A sniffer dog was rushed to the vet after biting through a package of cocaine found at the Greyhound terminal in Roanoke, Virginia. The K9 had an accelerated heart rate and dilated pupils, but recovered fully. His human partner had washed his mouth out right after the incident. The dog - named Blitz - had found 24 ounces of coke, worth a hundred thousand dollars on the street. Two suspects were arrested.
NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE
Angry commuters burned down a commuter train that broke down and remained stationary through an entire rush hour in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Police say the train was totally destroyed by its frustrated passengers and the people in cars whose roads were blocked for three hours.
A middle school teacher in an affluent suburb of Sacramento was arrested after allegedly paying for lunch in the school cafeteria with a counterfeit 20-dollar bill. The county sheriff's office said they recovered a wad of the fake bills from Stacy Teves and her roommate.
THOSE AREN'T MY 976 CALLS
An Army sergeant with the White House Communications Agency was arrested after allegedly giving out the president's long distance code. A U.S. attorney said 50 thousand dollars worth of unauthorized calls were made over a two-month period.
PEPSI-COLA HITS THE SPOT
Two male robbers disguised as women didn't make off with any loot from a Palm Beach Gardens Bank after encountering a feisty employee. When they tried to overpower a small woman who was entering the bank before it opened, she warded them off by bashing one of them in the head with a 12-pack of Pepsi.
A woman who had collected the credit identities of 350 people while working as a data-entry clerk didn't do a very good job of covering her tracks. Tampa police say the woman used a stolen identity to pay for a family portrait ... which she picked up in a minivan with vanity plates bearing her real last name.
WINDFALL WHEN HOUSE FALLS
A Stratford, Ontario couple found 130 thousand dollars in a house they'd bought from an elderly widow. But a judge ruled that the money - which was found in a fire extinguisher when the house was demolished - was the property of the former owner. Judge Dougald McDermid cited a 278-year-old law that says finders are not keepers if they know who the true owner is. The 89-year-old widow got word of the find through the town gossip mill.
Police in Burbank, California were kept busy by a high-speed bank robber who held up three branches in 25 minutes. The first robbery took place at 11:00 am, followed by another a half-mile away at 11:15. As the FBI and police were responding to the first two robberies, a third bank was robbed at 11:25.
POSTMASTER, HEAL THYSELF
Paychecks for 148 postal workers in Pensacola, Florida hadn't arrived by payday. An embarrased Postal Service customer service official informed the employees that the checks were lost ... in the mail.
A girls' basketball team really stank at a Grand Island, Nebraska tournament ... but they won the game. The girls on the fifth-grade squad were sprayed by a skunk, and neither showers, shampoo nor perfume could get the smell off them before their match. The odoriferous team won the game 27 to 14. Coaches noted that they weren't guarded very closely.
A brewmaster has won a lawsuit against his former employee in Sao Paulo, Brazil, after he was fired for having an alcohol problem. The court agreed that tasting over three gallons of beer per day as required by his job turned him into an alcoholic. He was awarded a pension equal to his old pay and 30-thousand-dollars damages.
JUST FOR THE HALIBUT
Authorities in Redondo Beach, California arrested two people in connection with the theft of 20 halibut from a hatchery. The perps speared the fish with a makeshift harpoon. Among the missing was a 20-year-old 50-pound fish known as Big Mama, who produced millions of eggs several times a month.
Three students were suspended from a Marysville, Washington school for wearing cologne to class. Parents and students had been notified that their teacher was severely allergic to fragrant products, and the three seventh-graders doused themselves with strong cologne before entering her classroom. Cedarcrest Middle School's principal says the prank was tantamount to an assault.
ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY?
A Fresno, California cab driver found a unique way to thwart a robbery attempt. When a passenger pulled a knife and demanded money, the cabbie bit him on the arm. The suspect gave up and fled.
WORKER LENDS A HAND
A man was trapped in a van for more than two days after it rolled off a freeway near Downey, California. Just as Lee Risler began to free himself by sawing off his hand with a pocket knife, a Department of transportation worker spotted the wreckage. Risler's hand was saved by surgery.
WERE GREEN TEETH THE GIVEAWAY?
A Harris County, Texas prisoner sawed through his bars to get at a rival gang member and kill him. Justice Chairman Alfred Stringfellow says the convict used dental floss with an abrasive toothpaste to saw through the bars.
IS JUSTICE SLEEPING BEHIND THAT BLINDFOLD?
A Lancaster County, Nebraska District Court judge found himself guilty of sleeping in court and granted the defense's motion for a mistrial. Judge Donald Endicott, who said a stomach medication had made him drowsy, promised to rest up for his next case ... the retrial.
A stretch of I-70 was turned bright blue when a tractor-trailor overturned, spilling a thousand bottles of Downey Fabric Softener on the roadway near Washington, Pennsylvania. Traffic backed up for 11 miles while crews removed the rig and hosed down the freeway.
A man with bulging pants was caught trying to smuggle an illegal reptile into France. Sniffer dogs at a Paris airport caught the scent of a 16-inch boa constrictor hiding in the man's underpants.
A lanky blonde British woman was arrested entering Turkey with a 6-pound package of heroin tied to her body. Customs officials searched her when jewelry in her pierced genitals set off metal detectors.
A LONG HOUR'S JOURNEY INTO JERSEY
A 2-year-old girl rode a Greyhound bus to New Jersey on her own, after her mother got off to buy her snack at a stop in New York City. Jersey State Police flagged down the bus in New Brunswick and drove the toddler back to the New York Port Authority. The girl spent her solo time on the bus entertaining passengers with her Winnie the Pooh pillow.
Nebraska's Mother Of The Year relinqished her award when her son disclosed that his mother had forged his name on a ballot. Five of Patricia Downey's eight sons supported her nomination, while the other three did not. Downey said unresolved family matters prompted her withrawal.
MILE HIGH SNACKS
The coach of the Flamengo, Brazil soccer team bolted out of his plane seat to stop flight attendants from distributing snacks to his players. Eduardo Chimello said it was a good thing most of the players were asleep - the airline was handing out poppyseed rolls, which would have caused positive drug tests for all the players.
BARK WORSE THAN HIS BITE
Rexbo the Dog was a friend to police officers in Macomb, Illinois, but he wasn't trained to be a K9. But when two suspected drug users ran into a wooded area, officers used Rexbo as a bluff. They told the hiding perps that they were about to send a dog in after them, then had Rexbo bark through a bullhorn. The suspects gave themselves up. Rexbo greeted them with a wagging tail as they emerged from the woods.
©1995-2005 Archer & Valerie Productions.